In the News

Haynes and Boone Lawyers Widely Recognized in Texas Rising Stars 2014

Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers have followed last year’s strong showing in the Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars directory with an impressive group of 32 firm attorneys that editors have chosen for inclusion in the 2014 edition. Ten of the 32 made their first appearance in the special directory, which recognizes the top up-and-coming lawyers in the state. >>

Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star Features 34 Haynes and Boone Lawyers

DALLAS – Thirty-four Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers have been recognized in the Texas Super Lawyer 2013 Rising Stars edition, a special publication recognizing the top up-and-coming lawyers in the state. >>



Recent Publications

Fifth Circuit Holds Any Claim that Exhausts Underlying Insurance Can Trigger Excess Insurance

In a win for policyholders relying on multiple coverage layers, the Fifth Circuit held on June 23, 2014 that an excess liability insurance policy could be triggered by exhaustion of a “retained limit” - equal to the limits of underlying insurance - even if the amounts paid to meet the “retained limit” were not covered by the excess policy. >>

A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response - Part 8

In this final installment of our series, A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response, we outline four key considerations that every company should be aware of in pursuing coverage for claims and losses arising out of a cyber/privacy breach. >>

A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response - Part 3

In this installment of A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response, we outline issues businesses should consider when purchasing cyber liability policies. >>



Leslie Conant Thorne

Partner

Austin


600 Congress Avenue
Suite 1300
Austin, 78701
T +1 512.867.8445
F +1 512.867.8615

Áreas de Practica

Educación

  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2004, Member, Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 2001

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2004

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Leslie Conant Thorne

Leslie Thorne is a Partner in the Business Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation, and Real Estate and Construction Litigation practices. As a business trial lawyer, she represents clients in federal and state court cases involving fraud, breach of contract, tortious interference, and statutory claims. In addition to her general commercial practice, Leslie specializes in energy, construction and insurance-related litigation. In those roles, she advises clients on risk management strategies (including assessing insurance and indemnity needs) and handles complex litigation and arbitration matters when they arise.

Selected Client Representations

  • Obtained significant recoveries for real estate developers in construction defect cases involving multi-million dollar office buildings and hotels.
  • Secured a multi-million settlement with carriers in connection with MTBE-related claims made against Fortune 50 client.
  • Convinced the carrier to post supersedeas bond and provide appellate defense for energy company found liable for intentional private nuisance in connection with its oil and gas operations.
  • Secured dismissal of fiduciary duty and minority oppression claims against major shareholders in a healthcare corporation.
  • Successfully defended a bank at trial against a breach of contract claim.
  • Secured a multi-million dollar settlement for a national energy company in connection with a failed ethanol venture.
  • Conducted an internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach at a national hotel chain.
  • Convinced insurers to cover extensive property losses caused by various hurricanes and other natural disasters.
  • Obtained a total victory for a corporate defendant at trial over an employment contract.
  • Advised national lenders of insurance needs for real estate development projects.
  • In an oil and gas dispute, secured a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against a foreign sovereign pending international arbitration of dispute.
  • Obtained a favorable multi-million dollar settlement for a corporate plaintiff in a fraud case involving theft of business.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order preventing a landlord from terminating a commercial lease.
  • Obtained a total reversal of a tax assessment on aircraft.
  • Advised corporate policyholders regarding risk transfer strategies.
  • Helped corporate policyholders recover insurance monies from resistant carriers.
  • Represented owners and developers in construction disputes with architects, contractors and subcontractors.

Speeches and Publications

  • "What You Need to Know About Data Security and Cyber Insurance: Practical tips on preparing for and responding to a cyber security breach," presented to public and private company clients in the Dallas area, June 26, 2014.
  • "Understanding Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Cyber Insurance," Austin Compliance Roundtable, May 28, 2014.
  • "What Registered Entities Need to Know about Cybersecurity and Cyber Insurance," San Antonio Compliance Roundtable, May 14, 2014.
  • "Negotiating AIA Construction Contracts: The Owner’s Perspective," Lorman AIA Contracts Seminar, May 7, 2014.
  • "Cyber Liability and Loss Seminar," presented to public and private company clients in the Austin area, April 22, 2014.
  • "Insurance Coverage for a Young and Growing Business: What You Need to Know," TexasBarCLE Essentials of Business Law Course, March 7, 2014.
  • "Insurance Coverage for Cyber Attacks: What Do You Need in a Cyber Liability Policy?" co-author, Haynes and Boone Client Alert, February 27, 2014.
  • "Water Rights of Fracking Operations," Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court presentation, February 10, 2014.
  • "Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms All Sums Allocation Approach for Continuous Losses," ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Notes, October 30, 2013.
  • "The Corporate Representative Deposition: Uses & Abuses," TexasBarCLE 26th Annual Advanced Evidence & Discovery Course, May 24, 2013.
  • "Fisher v. Texas and the Future of Race-Conscious Admissions," Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court presentation, April 9, 2013.
  • "Q&A With Haynes and Boone's Leslie Thorne," Law 360, March 27, 2013.
  • "Top Construction Contract Issues and Pressure Points for the Players," University of Texas School of Law 2012 Construction Law Program, September 13, 2012.
  • "Construction Anti-Indemnification Law Changes Indemnity and Additional Insurance Landscape," ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage webpage of the Insurance Coverage Committee, May 2012.
  • "CGL Policies Triggered by Allegations of Physical Damage to Adjacent Property," ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage News & Developments, May 4, 2012.
  • "Disastrous 2011 a Reminder to Obtain Sufficient Coverage," guest column, PropertyCasualty360, November 3, 2011.
  • "How Can Insurance Agents Help the Texas Fire Victims?," guest column, Insurance Journal, Sept. 13, 2011.
  • "Insuring Against Risks with Sustainable Hotels," guest column, Lodging Hospitality, Aug. 18, 2011.
  • "Insurance Considerations for Construction Projects," Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues, Lorman Education Seminars, July 27, 2011.
  • "New Texas Construction Anti-Indemnification Law - HB 2093," Haynes and Boone Client Alert, June 27, 2011.
  • "Insurance Coverage for Storm Devastation," Law360 Guest Column, June 1, 2011.
  • "Annual Review of Litigation, Chapter 3: Appellate Practice," contributor, with Kendyl Hanks and Mark Trachtenberg, American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, April 2011.
  • "Securities Litigation and The Supreme Court: 2010 in Review and a Preview of 2011," co-author with Nicholas Even and Daniel Gold, University of Texas School of Law 33rd Annual Conference on Securities Regulation and Business Law, February 2011.
  • "Insurers, sureties slow to respond to green builders' needs," guest column, Austin Business Journal, June 25, 2010.
  • "Changes in the 'Actual Prejudice' Requirement: Effects of Late Notice and Settlement Without Consent When the Insurer Cannot Show That It Has Been Harmed," University of Houston Law Foundation Advanced Insurance and Tort Claims Program, 2008.
  • "CCIPS, OCIPS, and Other Risk Transfer Strategies: Considerations for Construction Projects," 2008.
  • "Insurance and Other Risk Transfer Strategies: Considerations for Construction Projects," Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues, Lorman Education Seminars, 2008.
  • "Frank's Casing and Its Impact on Stowers," State Bar of Texas Telephone CLE Seminar Series, 2008.
  • "How to be a Successful Summer Associate," University of Oklahoma School of Law, 2008.
  • "Additional Insured Coverage: Emerging Issues," 2007.
  • "Selection of Counsel and Ethical Dilemmas in the Tripartite Relationship," 2007.
  • "Recovering Business Losses: Hurricane and Other Business Interruptions," University of Houston CLE, Advanced Insurance and Tort Claims, March 22, 2007.
  • "Insurance Policy: Perils and Gaps," Executive Counsel Magazine, March/April 2006.
  • "What Every Business Needs to Know About Insurance," Corporate Counsel Review, Volume XXV Number 2, November 2006.
  • "Offers of Settlement, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 167: A Plaintiff Attorney Perspective" 2004.
  • "Spoliation & Retention in the Computer Age" 2004.

Professional Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition (2007-2009, 2012-2014)

Selected Representative Experience


Data Breach Investigation
Investigate theft of payment card data and other personal identifying information from hotel; liaise with law enforcement and payment card sponsors; draft and deliver disclosures to card processors, consumers, and regulators in domestic and international jurisdictions; counsel client regarding insurance coverage for data breach claims.

Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation v. Frazier Healthcare V, L.P., et al.
Represented multiple funds as alleged majority controlling bloc of a Delaware corporation in minority shareholder suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, arising from the sale of Ascension Orthopedics to Integra LifeSciences. Argued and won decisions in the trial court and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing alleged improper equity dilution and minority shareholder oppression claims under Delaware law.

Torster v. Panda Energy Mgmt., No. 07-10-0442-CV, 2011 WL 780522 (Tex. App.—Amarillo Mar. 7, 2011, pet. denied) (mem. op.)
Persuaded the court of appeals to affirm the trial court's refusal to compel arbitration where none of the litigants were signatories to the contract containing the arbitration provision and plaintiffs' tort claims arose from conduct that occurred prior to the execution of the contract. Convinced the Texas Supreme Court to deny review after full briefing.

General Parts, Inc. v. Internet AutoParts, Inc. et al., in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas - Austin Division, 2009
Represented a major automotive parts retailer in a lawsuit in which the retailer claimed defendants committed breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud and other harmful acts in connection with a failed joint venture to sell automotive parts over the Internet.

Blocked Subpoena Seeking Coverage Information - Fortune 50 Company
Successfully blocked subpoena seeking decades of coverage information from Fortune 50 company.

Coverage Consultation - Construction Equipment Manufacturer
Served as buyer’s coverage consultant in acquisition of major construction equipment manufacturer.

Defamation Suit Against Hospital
Obtained coverage from several liability carriers for defamation suit filed against hospital, despite post-verdict notice and multiple problematic exclusions.

Coverage Counsel - Wrongful Death Suit
Served as plaintiffs’ coverage counsel in multi-million dollar wrongful death suit resulting from a bus fire.

Declaratory Action Against Liability Insurer - Elevator Manufacturer
Successfully represented elevator manufacturer in declaratory action against liability insurer for denying coverage on a wrongful death claim.

Defense of Home Manufacturer - Personal Injury Action
Obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in satisfaction of liability carrier’s broken promise to defend home manufacturer in personal injury action.

Dismissal of Claims
Obtained complete dismissal of claims against out-of-state defendant based on lack of personal jurisdiction.

Liability Coverage for Airplane Crash
Obtained liability coverage for airplane crash despite potentially applicable exclusions.

Coverage Counsel - Personal Injury Suit
Served as plaintiff’s coverage counsel in personal injury suit against negligent driver.

Asbestos-Related Suits
Secured full defense and indemnity for asbestos-related suits under multiple liability policies.

Memberships

  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
  • ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Additional Insureds Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • State Bar of Texas (Construction Law and Insurance Law Sections)
  • Austin Bar Association (Construction and Civil Litigation Sections)
  • United Way Young Leaders Society
  • Austin Young Lawyers
  • Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals
  • Manos de Cristo Board of Directors
  • Central Texas SPCA Board of Directors
  • Austin Young Chamber of Commerce
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association
  • Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court

Online Publications

06/30/2014 - Fifth Circuit Holds Any Claim that Exhausts Underlying Insurance Can Trigger Excess Insurance
In a win for policyholders relying on multiple coverage layers, the Fifth Circuit held on June 23, 2014 that an excess liability insurance policy could be triggered by exhaustion of a “retained limit” - equal to the limits of underlying insurance - even if the amounts paid to meet the “retained limit” were not covered by the excess policy.

05/08/2014 - A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response - Special Series
If your business is connected to the Internet, it is vulnerable to attack, either by willful perpetrators intent on exfiltrating your proprietary or sensitive data for their own personal gain, or by casual hackers or hacktivists intending to cause damage to your business.

04/03/2014 - A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response - Part 8
In this final installment of our series, A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response, we outline four key considerations that every company should be aware of in pursuing coverage for claims and losses arising out of a cyber/privacy breach.

02/27/2014 - A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response - Part 3
In this installment of A Desk Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response, we outline issues businesses should consider when purchasing cyber liability policies.

10/30/2013 - Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms All Sums Allocation Approach for Continuous Losses
Finally resolving 12 years of litigation, the Texas Supreme Court ruled on August 23, 2013, that the triggered insurer—not the insured—bears the responsibility for allocating costs among insurers when a continuing loss extends over several policy periods.

10/10/2013 - The Government Shutdown: Can “Contingent Business Interruption” or “Civil Authority” Coverage Mitigate Business Losses?
Whether you call it a “shutdown” or a “slowdown,” the lack of a fully-funded federal government is impacting more than the 800,000 federal workers furloughed since October 1.

09/04/2013 - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Certifies Deepwater Horizon “Additional Insured” Issues To The Texas Supreme Court
On March 1, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that $750 million of primary and excess coverage issued to Transocean Holdings, Inc. (“Transocean”) “imposes no relevant limitations upon the extent to which BP [BP American Production Company] is covered” as an additional insured in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident in April 2010.

07/31/2013 - Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Addresses Insurers’ Claims to Enforce Indemnity Rights in an Insured’s MSA
Third party insurers are not entitled to enforce an insured’s defense, indemnification or insurance rights in a master services agreement (“MSA”) according to a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an opinion issued on July 5.

06/24/2013 - Texas Authorizes Domestic Pure Captive Insurance Companies
On June 14, 2013, Governor Rick Perry signed legislation, which for the first time authorizes domestic captive insurers in Texas. The bill, known as SB 734, allows Texas businesses to realize the advantages, including tax benefits, of forming and operating a “pure” captive insurance company without the burden and cost associated with an out-of-state captive.

05/30/2012 - ABA Guest Article: Construction Anti-Indemnification Law Changes Indemnity and Additional Insurance Landscape
On January 1, 2012, Texas joined a handful of states in declaring construction contract indemnity provisions and additional insured requirements void and unenforceable.

05/04/2012 - CGL Policies Triggered by Allegations of Physical Damage to Adjacent Property
A standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy covers “damages because of . . . property damage.” Recently, in Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Academy Development, Inc., No. 11-20219, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8056, --F.3d -- (5th Cir. Apr. 20, 2012), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that such policies are triggered by allegations of diminished value due to adjacent property damage, even where the underlying claimant has no ownership interest in the physically damaged property.

11/03/2011 - PropertyCasualty360 Guest Article: Disastrous 2011 a Reminder to Obtain Sufficient Coverage
Nature has done a number on the U.S. this year. With two months remaining, 2011 already set the record for the most FEMA-declared disasters since the agency began keeping track in 1953.

09/13/2011 - Insurance Journal Guest Article: How Can Insurance Agents Help the Texas Fire Victims?
As fires tear through Texas, businesses and homeowners struggle to determine their losses.

08/18/2011 - Lodging Hospitality Guest Column: Insuring Against Risks with Sustainable Hotels
Green building has grown exponentially in the past few years. As of March, 91 lodging properties had achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification.

06/27/2011 - New Texas Construction Anti-Indemnification Law ─ HB 2093
New anti-indemnity legislation will mark significant changes for the construction industry. On June 17, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed HB 2093, which makes certain indemnity provisions in construction contracts void and unenforceable if they require a person to indemnify, defend, or hold harmless another party for a claim caused by that party’s own negligence or fault.

06/01/2011 - Leslie Thorne Guest Column in Law360: Insurance Coverage For Storm Devastation
As storms rip through the southern and midwest U.S., businesses nationwide struggle to determine their losses. The May 22 storm that hit Joplin, Mo., left much of the city leveled. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., alone, where a tornado hit on April 27, the American Red Cross estimates that at least 5,000 properties have been destroyed.

Catastrophe modeler Air Worldwide Corp. has estimated insured losses resulting from recent storms and tornadoes at up to $5.5 billion already. Moreover, the catastrophic destruction we see in these communities is only part of the picture. The financial aftershocks will be felt throughout the country.

02/10/2011 - Securities Litigation and The Supreme Court: 2010 in Review and a Preview of 2011
This article, presented by Nick Even at the University of Texas School of Law 33rd Annual Conference on Securities Regulation and Business Law, summarizes the key securities law rulings from the Supreme Court in the past year, as well as the significant issues pending before the Justices in 2011, in the Janus Capital, Matrixx and Halliburton cases.

06/25/2010 - Insurers, sureties slow to respond to green builders’ needs
Green building is here to stay...But with new green designs and products, new liabilities arise. What if an architect fails to deliver on an agreement to design a project to be LEED-certified?

Insurance Policy Perils and Gaps
As appearing in the March/April 2006 issue of Executive Counsel.